We attended one of the best regional conferences I've been to this morning. One of the talks by Elder Snow of the seventy was about remembering. We do tend to forget and that is why we should keep a journal, we were told. So I wanted to write about different experiences where music has helped me feel the spirit of the Lord and been a blessing in my life.
When I was about three years old we had moved to the house in Prineville where I grew up. One morning I woke up with a line of Music running through my mind. The house my parents bought was very tiny and at the time he had built bunk beds in a small room. Bill was sleeping on the top bunk and Naty and I were on the bottom bunk. I remember humming the musical phrase over and over in my mind trying to remember what the song was. When Bill woke up I hummed it to him and he told me it was "We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet". I remember thinking what a beautiful song it was.
Later when I was maybe four or five, we were singing "Abide with me; 'tis Eventide" in sacrament meeting. When we came to the second verse that says "Has made my heart within me burn, as I communed with thee.," I was puzzled about what it meant and yes, even a little frightened. Later, as I was in bed with my Mom I dared to ask her what it meant. That is when she first explained to me what feeling the spirit was like. I remember feeling comforted and knowing that the Savior could stay the night with me.
I may have been 6 or 7 When I went to work with Daddy when he was driving dump truck for the gravel plant. As we rode out to the gravel pit to get loaded up with gravel to deliver, we sang "Beautiful Zion Built Above". I don't remember if we were able to sing in parts but I could hear the beautiful harmony of that song at least in my mind. Last week as we sang that song in church I could remember so clearly sitting on that high seat in the dump truck singing with my Dad.
Around that same time we showed up at Sunday School and all of the Melchizedec Priesthood was out of town all six of them. All the Ladies said, "I guess we can't have church without the Priesthood here." Mom said, " Look at this" and turned to the 20th section of the D &C verses 46 through 49. Then she said," Bill is a Priest." And verse 49 says that "he is to take the lead of meetings when there is no elder present." This was a branch of the church and 15 or 20 people at a meeting was a good crowd. So Bill conducted and either played the piano or led the singing, and he blessed both the bread and water for the sacrament and helped our one deacon pass it. I don't remember the songs we sang but the meeting went very smoothly. My respect for the Priesthood grew immeasurably that day And I knew that the scriptures are true and that we should know what they say so that we can solve our problems with the help of the Lord.
I will never forget the day that the Crosswhites were baptized and we had a piano player who really knew how to play the piano. I loved Primary after that and she always came. Our Sacrament meetings and Sunday School meetings were so much nicer and feeling the spirit was so much easier.
I remember singing parts to Silent Night around Christmas time in the early mornings still in bed waiting for the fire to be built and the house to warm up. The birth of the Savior and the need for a redeemer became so real for me. Sometimes the whole family would sing the Christmas songs in the mornings.
We learned the song "In the Garden" as a Bluebird girl to sing for them as we visited the Baptist Church. We visited many of the churches in town and learned of their love for the Savior.
And riding in the car. Since we knew the church hymns best, we always sang many of them and learned to sing parts. When Bill and Millie were engaged to be married, she went with us to Portland. When it was her turn to choose a song Millie was unsure what we might know. She was raised a Baptist and didn't know the LDS hymns. She was delighted that we knew many of her favorite Hymns from her church. This contributed to her conversion to the church.
Music has been a tremendous help in the growth of my testimony and the feelings of real reverence that I have learned over the years. Perhaps another time I can share some of my adult experiences of answered prayers through music in another post.